“We Own Tonight” – New Kids On The Block
This new track off NKOTB’s new album “10” is definitely less creepy than a lot of the material the middle-aged musicians have put out since their comeback in 2007. It’s also unlistenable. “We Own Tonight” has all the melodic intricacy of an “American Idol” coronation song with arguably less lyrical quality; every time a member of the group sings the lines “Like a candle that’s burning in the wind / We’re burning fast” with seriousness, it’s hard not to laugh. Add in some cut-rate and poorly-disguised Auto-Tune that makes half the singers sound like their throats are filled with mucus, and the following becomes apparent: New Kids on the Block aren’t burning fast. They’re burned out.
“If You Didn’t See Me [Then You Weren’t On the Dancefloor]” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. doesn’t only have a killer name—they’ve been quietly putting out great, catchy indie pop for the past couple of years. “If You Didn’t See Me” takes them into slightly synth-ier territory, but remains properly quirky and oddly sultry: “You’re supposed to roll your hips in time / You’re supposed to see your age rewind” sings the duo in one verse, before the ecstatic chorus bursts in. Enjoy these guys while you can—it won’t be long until they get the Foster the People treatment and you’ll be forced to hate them.
“Fine China” – Chris Brown
Chris Brown just makes it too easy. Although a lot of people aren’t ever going to forgive him for assaulting Rihanna, his lyrical choices also make it really tough to forget about the incident. On “Fine China,” the newly released single from his upcoming album “X,” Brown sings, “It’s like all the girls around me don’t have faces.” Well, not if you have anything to say about it, Chris. Yet, whatever his faults, the guy is far from a bad musician. “Fine China” is a sleazy, MJ-esque jam that shows off Brown’s vocal chops, even if its lyrics demonstrate a disturbing flippancy towards his past.
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